Friday, November 18, 2005

$4

fine flickering hungers, by Alessia Brio
ISBN 1-59426-540-2
November 2005


A finalist in the first annual Fruity Awards, fine flickering hungers is a collection of eight erotic short stories with accompanying poetry. Sexual scenarios vary from hetero- to mono- to homosexual to group, with the only common thread being that they seldom (if ever) take place in a bed.

Size: Comet
Rating: Nova

Read an Excerpt

Thursday, November 10, 2005

ERRW Interview


W: Good Morning Alessia. Not only are you a talented author but if I am not mistaken, a very busy person. So, we would love to learn more about you; especially what you are doing when not writing. Where are you from?

AB: Depends on who you ask! I'm sure there are a few who'd say I came straight from heaven, and quite a few more who'd say just the opposite. Geographically speaking, I have lived my entire life in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

W: Would you care to share a little about your family life with us?

AB: Well, I'm currently married … and, if you catch me at just the right moment, I may even say that's a good thing. I have three young children who test my limits on a daily basis … and, if you catch me at just the right moment, I may say that's a good thing, too.

W: Do you write full time or do you work outside the home too?

AB: No - to both. I neither write full-time, nor work outside the home. I have my fingers in a dozen different projects, most of which are volunteer efforts. Writing was "just" a hobby until very recently, and I hope it never, ever feels like "work."

W: What would be the one thing you'd want us, the reader, to know about you?

AB: That as long as my writing is enjoyed, I'll keep doing it. So, readers - yes, YOU - show your appreciation of my scribblings by giving me some feedback! (Oh, and buy every single title I publish, too. *wink*)

W: What made you decide to become a writer?

AB: Those damned pesky fantasies wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote them down!

W: What were your feelings when your first book was accepted?

AB: Elated. Amazed. Giddy. Apprehensive. Did I mention, elated?

W: Did you always want to write erotic romance? How did that come about?

AB: Come about? (*tee hee* You made a punny!)

I've written non-fiction for many years, but never even dreamed I'd be writing poetry or any type of fiction. It was those damned pesky fantasies, I tell ya! It's all THEIR fault.

W: Do you write in other genres? If so, do you use a different pen name?

AB: I don't (currently) write any other forms of fiction. I do write poetry, though. My single-author anthology, fine flickering hungers, contains eight erotic short stories and eight poems.

Pen name? You mean, you don't think Alessia Brio is my real name?

W: Who would you say was the biggest influence in your decision to write?

AB: Hmm … I can't say that anyone influenced my decision to write. ("Inspiration" is another matter entirely. *grin*) However, without the influence of my best friend, I'd never have SHARED that writing.

W: How do your family and friends feel about you being an erotic romance author?

AB: Those who know are very supportive. Most don't know.

W: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you have any set formula or guide that you use?

AB: I am a rule-breaker, so I eschew any formulas or theories on how to effectively create enjoyable fiction. It really varies from piece to piece. Some start with an intriguing character, others with a story line, and still others with a sexual scenario around which I build a story.

W: Many writers have a set routine in their writing, either writing each day or in a certain spot. What about you?

AB: Again, it depends on the story and how it feels to me. I don't have a fixed place or time for writing. I just go with the flow. I'm horridly undisciplined, and I like it that way.

W: What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

AB: Wait! I AM a new writer just starting out. I cut my teeth at Literotica. The Author's Hangout is a wonderfully supportive environment with some very, very talented denizens. (Nice people, too!) If erotic fiction is what you want to write, I don't think you can go wrong by tapping into the expertise found there.

W: Can you tell us a bit about the books you have out now?

AB: I have two published works, both with Phaze: Erotique, a HeatSheet Shiver, is an erotic short story about a sex toy museum and shop in which the exhibits are very "educational;" and fine flickering hungers, a single-author anthology consisting of eight erotic short stories and eight poems.

In addition, I am an active participant in a philanthropic self-publishing venture called Coming Together. It is a serial collection of erotic stories, poetry, and original illustrations. 100% of the proceeds are donated to charities. The regular editions benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org), which works to protect our online freedoms. Plus, we published a special hurricane relief edition, which benefits the American Red Cross.

W: Of all the books and stories you've written, what would you say is your favorite and why?

AB: No can do. Each occupies a special place in my heart and my mind for different reasons. Erotique, for example, is dear to me because it was the first story I wrote which required extensive research. The lead story in fine flickering hungers, entitled "Wetter Has Never Been Better," is significant because it was inspired by an awesome trip to Costa Rica. The same can be said of each story and poem. They're all my children (and I tell each it's my favorite when the others aren't listening).

W: Do you have any appearances or upcoming events that you'd like to share?

AB: Yup! The day after tomorrow (which is probably well before this interview will be published), I'm having my first book signing at an adult toy store in Milwaukee. That's November 12th at The Tool Shed. (Great name, huh?) Other than that, I'll just be around the 'Net promoting my current releases. I really want to be with my Phaze colleagues in Virginia Beach for "In the Pink" at The Pink Banana Boutique on the 19th of November … but I just can't swing it. *sigh*

W: Are you working on any books or projects that you'd like to share with us?

AB: I have two major projects in the works.

First, a contemporary erotic novel entitled Snatch. It's a story of rape and retribution.

Second, Zane. It's the novel I'm working on as part of NaNo - that's National Novel Writing Month. (See www.NaNoWriMo.org for details.) Zane is set on the frontier during the American Revolutionary War (another research-intensive project) and involves a love triangle between Betty Zane, her brother Isaac, and Wyandot princess Myeerah. Historical fiction is new territory for me, so I'm enjoying the challenge of creating a fictional story, which still fits the historical record.

I'll probably also write something for the next Phaze HeatSheet contest - Snugglers - this winter.

W: What plans do you have for the future?

AB: More writing, of course. Hopefully, you'll be reading it!

Wendi, Interviewer
Erotic Romance Reviews for Women

Secret Pleasures

I'm thrilled to be featured in the debut issue of Secret Pleasures eZine:

1. How long have you been writing?

Well, I could be a smart ass and say I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old (which is true), but I’m guessing you want to know how long I’ve been writing erotic fiction. I penned my first short story in the late summer of 2003. (Until that time, my writing had been exclusively non-fiction: essays and editorials involving various civil rights issues.) A year later, I wrote my first poem.

2. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

I almost wish I had an angst-ridden tale to tell – an office wallpapered with rejection letters or some such – but it was really quite painless. Last spring, a bunch of my author pals from Literotica decided to self-publish a print anthology to benefit charity. One of my roles in the project was (is) to paste the stories, poems, and illustrations chosen into manuscript format. Since I already had the file format all set up for Coming Together, I figured, “Why not?” I compiled a manuscript of my own work, submitted it to Phaze, and promptly forgot about it. Two months later, I had a contract.

3. You also write poetry. How do you balance poetry and fiction in your work?

One of the things I’ve discovered as I attempt to write longer and longer stories is that I write fiction with a poetic voice … which typically results in very concise, powerful prose. Every word is weighed for its emotional impact, and that tends to slow me down. I prefer to think that it’s quality over quantity, but that’s for the readers to decide.

4. Can you give us a sneak peek from your latest release?

My latest release is actually my very first release: Erotique, a Phaze HeatSheet Shiver, was released on October 24th. An excerpt is available on my blog at http://alessiabrio.blogspot.com as well as via the Phaze site by clicking on the Erotique cover. It’s been very well received. Here’s the blurb:

“Mandy stands to inherit the family legacy – a famous Philadelphia adult toy store and museum called Erotique – but she first has to meet the terms of the will and spend the night. With the help of her best friend, Bruce, she soon discovers the exhibits are VERY educational and her feelings for Bruce run deeper than she realized.”

5. What do you have coming up? Any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?

My first full-length work will be released by Phaze in the very near future, perhaps even before this interview is published. It’s a single-author anthology entitled fine flickering hungers and is a collection of eight short stories and six poems. I’m very excited about it.

I have several works in progress, including a contemporary novel called Snatch. Plus, I’m currently participating in National Novel Writing Month with a historical erotic fiction story entitled Zane – set on the frontier near the end of the Revolutionary War.

We’ll also release the fourth edition of Coming Together in December.

6. You have a beautiful chocolate covered cherry logo on your blog. What’s the story behind that particular image?

I have long found chocolate-covered cherries very erotic. Something about the sweet, innocent-looking shell and the succulent, creamy center just stimulates all of my senses. I tape the image to my computer monitor when I’m writing a sex scene. It’s verrrrrrrrrrry “inspirational” … so much so that I included the candy in one of my stories – the final story in fine flickering hungers.

7. Share one of your secret pleasures with us.

But then it wouldn’t be a secret any more! *grin* Writing erotica IS my “secret” pleasure since very few people who know me are even aware I do it. So, you just never know when the soccer mom standing next to you might be choreographing a hot ménage scene in her mind … maybe even one involving chocolate-covered cherries. ;)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Monday, November 07, 2005

JERR Interview

Phaze Multi Author Interview
by Just Erotic Romance Reviews

Can you tell us briefly about yourself for our readers?

I am the new kid on the block. I could tell you I’ve aspired to be published since I was a child, but that’d be lying. (I really wanted to be an architect.) In truth, I was bitten by the fiction-writing bug just a couple years ago – and poetry shortly thereafter. Until that time, my writing centered on OpEds and essays dealing with civil rights. I derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from my fiction, my non-fiction, and my poetry. The fact that others also enjoy them is icing on my cake. And now, as added incentive, I’m going to be PAID to do it! Well, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
What attracted you to writing erotic romance?

The emotional dynamic, the intensity, and (of course) the sex. It’s something we ALL have in common and, as a result, something with the potential to either unite or divide us. There is far too much divisiveness in the world today, so I like to think my erotica is a force for good. If my work is entertaining, I’ve taken the readers away from their problems and frustrations – if only for a short while.
Who or what has been a major influence on your writing?

I grew up on a predominantly SciFi/Fantasy diet (Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert, Tolkien, McCaffrey, Anthony, Auel) along with a smattering of horror (King, Straub, Rice). That said, I don’t think my style mirrors any of those authors.
What do you love about being a writer?

The freedom. The freedom to express myself without fear. The freedom to be my own boss. The freedom to explore sexual frontiers.
Do you have a favorite genre for writing and reading, and what are they? Is there a particular genre you’d like to explore in the future?

For writing, erotica is definitely my preference – although I write a mean OpEd, if I do say so myself. For reading, SciFi/Fantasy. I love multi-volume series (like McCaffrey’s or Herbert’s) which reflect broad socio-political dynamics.
You must feel privileged being published with such a young and dynamic e-publisher. How did you feel when your first story was accepted by Phaze?

I am thrilled to be a part of the Phaze family. However, Phaze is not just an e-publisher. It also has works in print. That was a major factor in my decision to submit my work to Phaze.
How has the opportunity to be published with Phaze turned into a positive experience? How has writing for Phaze given you more opportunities to broaden your writing skills?

Phaze was my first choice of publisher. I’ve not submitted elsewhere – and don’t foresee doing so. It’d rather focus my time and energy making myself a success with Phaze – and, in so doing, helping Phaze succeed as well.

Erotique was my first attempt at paranormal erotic romance – and I’m not sure I’d’ve attempted it without the push provided by the Shivers contest.
The Shivers series is unique. Have you participated in any other such writing project?

I have participated in several themed contests on Literotica under a different pseudonym. That is where I got my feet wet, so to speak, writing erotica. The Author’s Hangout (forum) is a wonderfully diverse environment with very talented denizens. I am certain I’d not be in this position today without their support and encouragement.
How did you feel about having your story selected for the Shivers series that was published recently?

Humbled. I read two of the entries which were not selected, and I know they were also top notch work. I love the opportunity to have a short work available as a taste of my style in advance of the release of fine flickering hungers, my single-author anthology (also from Phaze) which will be released later this year.
Can you tell us briefly about your story contribution to the Phaze Shivers series?

Erotique is the story of an independent young woman who is too busy to allow herself the luxury of romance. The premature passing of her benefactor forces her to assume the management of the renowned sex toy shop and museum years before she’d expected – and, in due course, also forces her latent feelings for her best friend to the surface. Of course, the “educational” museum exhibits add some serious spice to the story.
Do you have any plans to expand on your story into another book for your secondary characters?

Hmm. There are no secondary characters in Erotique. However, I can envision a sequel in the same setting with the same characters or, perhaps, even the next generation. It’s not high on my ‘to do’ list, though. NaNo’s next.
Do you have any other upcoming projects or book releases? Do you want to tell us briefly about them?

Oh, great segue! Yeah, I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month) in November – a first for me. My novel is called Zane – a historical erotic romance set on the American frontier circa 1780 – and will involve a love triangle between Betty Zane, her brother Isaac, and Wyandot princess Myeerah.

In addition, my first full-length work will soon be published (also by Phaze). It’s called fine flickering hungers and is a compilation of 8 erotic short stories and 6 poems.

Lastly, I’ll be having my first book signing at The Tool Shed, a sex toy shop, in Milwaukee on November 12th!
Now for the fun questions.

What do you find sexy in a man?

Wit, integrity, intelligence, altruism, and a huge … smile. That’s true for all people … not just men. To me, the mind is the sexiest part of the body.
Do you have a favorite sex toy?

Absolutely. Oh, you want more? Toys figure prominently in several of my stories. In order to ensure believability and accuracy, I must do extensive “research.” I have come to the conclusion that writing erotica is the most “satisfying” job in the world.
What is your favorite cuss word?

Cuss? Ladies don’t cuss! I, however, am not a lady. *grin* I believe ‘fuck’ is the most versatile word in the English language – and I like versatility.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Playgirl Does Phaze

December 2005 issue -- page 29:



Speechless



fine flickering hungers (cover)
Okay, I'm not really SPEECHLESS ... but I my heart's racing and I have that same giddy feeling I had when I received the e-mail with news of fine flickering hungers' acceptance for publication. Isn't this cover absolutely awesome?

Slurrrrrrrrrrrrrrp

I'm eating up these delicious Erotique reviews with a spoon!

From Romance Reviews Today (Terrie Figueroa):

When her Aunt Viv dies unexpectedly, Mandy finds her plans for graduate school put on hold so that she can fulfill the stipulations of her aunt’s will to inherit the sex shop and museum that’s been in her family for generations. Mandy runs the shop per her aunt’s stipulations for the prescribed period, and while there, learns that even sex toys have a story to tell.

Will the haunted objects in the museum lure Mandy to her demise? And what will happen when Bruce, her best-friend gets in on some of the action? A tale of sexuality and lust, EROTIQUE takes Mandy and her best friend Bruce on a erotic adventure they never expected and which they might not survive. EROTIQUE is as hot and erotic as its title implies.

From author Lisa Bradley (5 of 5 stars):

"Alessia Brio’s ‘Erotique’ is one of the most finely crafted short stories I’ve read in a long time. Clever phrasing and witty dialogue keep the pace moving through this fascinating and sexy story involving historical and sometimes ancient sex toys. It is obviously superbly well researched, and the author has a real knack for description that brings every object and experience to life. An intriguing and sizzling hot read! I cannot recommend this story, and this author, highly enough, and look forward to whatever Ms. Brio has in store for us next!"

From author Selah March:

"Alessia's ability to blend humor with edgy sexual experimentation, likeable characters and truly fascinating research is something to behold. I was riveted. Made me forget to eat breakfast -- and that NEVER happens. ;-)"

From Victoria Skezas (5 of 5 stars):

"With a light and humorous touch, Brio combines hot action, creepy atmosphere and fascinating history. A quick, fulfilling read."

From TCM Reviews (Robyn Ashford):

"Ancient sex toys haunted by users long gone. Mandy inherits the family business, Erotique. In order to inherit the business, she must stay overnight in the shop. This sounds easy, that is until Mandy realizes that some of collectables at the shop come with rather overwhelming experiences.

"A great original and clever take on the stereotypical you have to stay in the place overnight to inherit the property horror theme. No horror here though and she never does have to actually stay the night alone. Mandy and her boyfriend Bruce do have some stimulating and arousing experiences though as they take stock of the shop’s special exhibits."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

On your mark ... Get set ...

NaNo!

And they're off! Thousands of writers ... myself included ... are engaged in a race against time. The goal: pen a (minimum) 50,000 word novel in November. Not a word is to be written prior, although research and outlines are permissible.

My novel is entitled Zane. Set on the American frontier circa 1780, it is the story of a love triangle between Betty Zane, her brother Isaac, and Wyandot princess Myeerah.

I'm not a fast writer 'cause I edit on the fly, so wish me luck!